The World Bank announced that it has approved USD 12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments.
The USD 12 bn “envelope” is part of a wider World Bank Group USD 160 billion package to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank said in a statement.
The World Bank said its new funding would help “signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines”.
“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” the bank’s president, David Malpass said in the statement.
Its implementation will be in support of efforts being led by the World Health Organisation and COVAX, and will offer recipient countries a number of options with regards to acquiring and delivering vaccines.
World Bank COVID-19 emergency response programmes are already reaching 111 countries, with the new tranche of financing adding to its robustness.
“Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery,” Malpass said.
The funding is meant to also help countries access tests and treatments and to support the management of supply chains and other logistics for vaccinations.